‘Law and Order: SVU’ Alum Richard Belzer Passes Away!!

Richard Belzer, stand-up comedian, actor, and author, has passed away at the age of 78. The news of his passing came from Saturday Night Live alum Laraine Newman, who posted about his passing on Twitter, and was later confirmed by his friend Bill Scheft to The Hollywood Reporter.

Belzer‘s performance career began when he moved to New York City in 1972 and began to perform as a stand-up comedian. He eventually became an opening act for Saturday Night Live and made multiple guest appearances on the popular program between 1975 and 1980. His acting career started in 1978 and saw him appear in small, background roles in projects. It wasn’t until 1992 that he found a role and character that would define his career and would become a historic run that any actor would be proud of.

His most well-known and consistent role was as Detective John Munch, who first made his appearance in the 1992 series Homicide: Life on the Street and went on to become a central character in both Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He went on to play the character until his acting retirement in 2016 at the age of 71. These were not the only series that Beltzer made appearances in as Munch, as he has appeared in at least one episode in a total of 11 series including The X-Files, fellow Law & and Order spinoff Law & Order: Trial by Jury, and the HBO classic The Wire, across six different networks, making Munch the only fictional character to appear on eleven different television shows played by a single actor.

Belzer’s Legendary Run as Munch

The 11 different series statistic is not the only history milestone that Belzer‘s run as Detective Munch passed, as he also became the record holder for most consecutive seasons reprising the same role. When combining his 7 seasons in Homicide: Life on the Street and 15 seasons in Law & Order: SVU, he played Munch in a total of 22 consecutive seasons, beating the previous record of 20. It is only fitting that his SVU co-star and series lead Mariska Hargitay would go on to break the record for her portrayal of Olivia Benson over the series’ 24-season run.

We here at Collider send our condolences to Belzer‘s friends and family.


via Collider

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.